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Found 5 results

  1. First of all, I'd like to give a big shout out and thank you to @mark.au, @AliGauld, @bigbadbadge and @Winded Penguin for the opportunity to join in with this informal PRU Spitfire GB: thanks guys! My choice of subject is Kovozavody Prostejov's 1/72 Spit PR.XI in USAAF guise. I'll be finishing it as an aircraft flown by the 14th PRS of the 7th PRG, in the scheme shown for MB950 (scheme 2), but not necessarily MB950 as I'm a bit of twit when it comes to serials! Obligatory box and sprue pics: Before making a start, I needed to clear a small space in which to begin work: The Quality Control Officer sleeping on the job..... However, the Quality Control Officer soon awoke and gradually encroached, so that at the enforced end of play I'd put the seat frame together and fitted the wheel well walls: And she's sat on the instruction sheet, too! Gotta love that Daisy Following @Giorgio N's advice on @AliGauld's build thread, I've hacked the centre out of the rearmost bulkhead which as supplied is the type fitted to pressurised cockpit variants. For a pattern, I used the corresponding part from Airfix's Mk.Vc. I'll also be scratching up a new "floor" as the supplied part is a bit short - thanks Alistair for the heads-up on that. And that's it so far: not much to show for my weekend, but I've got a couple of free evenings this week before taking Jane away for a long weekend for her birthday. Thanks for looking in! Mark
  2. Supermarine Spitfire PR.Mk.XI "USAAF" (KPM0291) 1:72 Kovozávody Prostějov The Spitfire was the champion of the Battle of Britain along with the Hurricane and a few other less well-known players, and it’s an aircraft with an amazing reputation that started from a bit of a damp squib in the shape of the Supermarine Type 224. The gull-winged oddity was the grandfather of the Spitfire, and despite losing out to the biplane Gloster Gladiator, designer R J Mitchell was spurred on to go back to the drawing board and create a more modern, technologically advanced and therefore risky design. This was the Type 300, and it was an all-metal construction with an incredibly thin elliptical wing that became legendary, although it didn’t leave much space for fuel, a situation that was further worsened by the Air Ministry’s insistence that four .303 machine guns were to be installed in each wing, rather than the three originally envisaged. It was a very well-sorted aircraft from the outset, so quickly entered service with the RAF in 1938 in small numbers. With the clouds of war accumulating, the Ministry issued more orders and it became a battle to create enough to fulfil demand in time for the outbreak and early days of war from September 1939 onwards. By then, the restrictive straight sided canopy had been replaced by a “blown” hood to give the pilot more visibility, although a few with the old canopy still lingered. The title Mk.Ia was given retrospectively to differentiate between the cannon-winged Mk.Ib that was instigated after the .303s were found somewhat lacking compared to the 20mm cannon armament of their main opposition at the time, the Bf.109. As is usual in wartime, the designers could never rest on their laurels with an airframe like the Spitfire, as it had significant potential for development, a process that lasted throughout the whole of WWII, and included many changes to the Merlin engine, then the installation of the more powerful Griffon engine, as well as the removal of the spine of the fuselage and creation of a bubble canopy to improve the pilot’s situational awareness. Its immediate successor was the Mk.II with a new Mk.XII Merlin, followed by the Mk.V that had yet another more powerful Merlin fitted. With the development of new Merlin 60 powered Spitfires, both the Mk VII and VIII were to have photo-reconnaissance (PR) variants. T he Mk XI was based on a combination of features from the marks VII, VIII and IX. It was the first PR variant to have the option of using two vertically mounted F52 cameras in the fuselage behind the cockpit. Other configurations could also be fitted, depending on the mission. The Mk XIs had a deeper nose fairing to accommodate a larger 14.5 gal oil tank and used the unarmoured, wrap-around PRU windscreen. Booster pumps for the wing tanks were fitted these being covered by teardrop shaped fairings under the wings. Retractable tailwheels were fitted as standard and the majority of the Mk XIs built had the later large-area pointed rudder. 260 Mk XIs were powered by Merlin 61, 63 or 63A engines, while the remaining 211 used the high-altitude Merlin 70. All of the Merlin 70 and 198 of the Merlin 60 series aircraft were fitted with the Vokes Aero-Vee dust filter in the extended, streamlined carburettor air intake under the nose. All Merlin 60 powered aircraft featured the fuel cooler in the port leading edge wing root. Additional slipper drop tanks could be fitted under the centre-section; in common with the Mk IX these could be 30, 45 or 90 gal capacity and, for the Mk XI, a tank of 170 gal capacity was also available. The aircraft were capable of a top speed of 417 mph (671 km/h) at 24,000 ft and could cruise at 395 mph at 32,000 ft. Normally Spitfire XIs cruised between these altitudes although, in an emergency, the aircraft could climb to 44,000 ft. However, pilots could not withstand such altitudes for long in a non-pressurised cockpit.[info from Wikipedia] The Kit This is a new tool 2022 boxing in KP's line of Spitfire kits. As is usual, they have produced a number of boxings that vary in decals and parts , giving the modeller plenty of choice which one(s) to get. The kit arrives in a small end-opening box, and inside are two sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, decal sheet and A5 instruction booklet, with the decal options printed in colour on the back of the box. Detail is excellent for the scale. Construction begins with the cockpit, the front bulkhead gets its instrument panel, with the instruments being provided as decals. The seat back and head armour attaches to the rear bulkhead and this is fitted to the floor members. The control column is added followed by the seat. Belts are supplied as decals. At the front of each fuselage half blanking plates go in for the exhausts and then the cockpit can go in the and halves can be closed up. Moving onto the wings the left and right uppers can be added to the single part lower wing making sure the small parts for the wheels wells go in first. The radiators go on. The wing can now be fitted to the fuselage and at the rear the tail surfaces and rudder are fitted, along with the tail wheel. The main gear can be built up and added along with the chin intake and prop. On top the canopy and aerial mast is added. At the front the prop is fitted. Markings There are three decal options in the box to represent The USAAF 14th Photographic Squadron of the 8th Air Force, which operated Spitfire Mark XIs from November 1943 to April 1945 Decals are printed in-house and have good registration, colour density and sharpness, with a very thin carrier film cut close to the printing. Conclusion Another great release from KP with excellent detail, and plenty of choices. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Supermarine Spitfire PR.Mk.X (KPM0290) 1:72 Kovozávody Prostějov The Spitfire was the champion of the Battle of Britain along with the Hurricane and a few other less well-known players, and it’s an aircraft with an amazing reputation that started from a bit of a damp squib in the shape of the Supermarine Type 224. The gull-winged oddity was the grandfather of the Spitfire, and despite losing out to the biplane Gloster Gladiator, designer R J Mitchell was spurred on to go back to the drawing board and create a more modern, technologically advanced and therefore risky design. This was the Type 300, and it was an all-metal construction with an incredibly thin elliptical wing that became legendary, although it didn’t leave much space for fuel, a situation that was further worsened by the Air Ministry’s insistence that four .303 machine guns were to be installed in each wing, rather than the three originally envisaged. It was a very well-sorted aircraft from the outset, so quickly entered service with the RAF in 1938 in small numbers. With the clouds of war accumulating, the Ministry issued more orders and it became a battle to create enough to fulfil demand in time for the outbreak and early days of war from September 1939 onwards. By then, the restrictive straight sided canopy had been replaced by a “blown” hood to give the pilot more visibility, although a few with the old canopy still lingered. The title Mk.Ia was given retrospectively to differentiate between the cannon-winged Mk.Ib that was instigated after the .303s were found somewhat lacking compared to the 20mm cannon armament of their main opposition at the time, the Bf.109. As is usual in wartime, the designers could never rest on their laurels with an airframe like the Spitfire, as it had significant potential for development, a process that lasted throughout the whole of WWII, and included many changes to the Merlin engine, then the installation of the more powerful Griffon engine, as well as the removal of the spine of the fuselage and creation of a bubble canopy to improve the pilot’s situational awareness. Its immediate successor was the Mk.II with a new Mk.XII Merlin, followed by the Mk.V that had yet another more powerful Merlin fitted. Following the introduction of the FW 109 the Mark XI was developed with a new two-stage supercharged Merlin 61 engine. This was markedly better above 20,000 ft and could easily climb to, and fight at 38,000 ft. The PR XI we converted XI's as well as the camera equipment, a wrap-around PR type windscreen was fitted, and a larger oil tank was installed under the nose. All armament was removed , the aircraft lacked "wet wing" tanks, meaning that the PR Mk IX relied on drop tanks for extra range. With the new Merlin 60 powered Spitfires the Mk VII and VIII were to have photo-reconnaissance (PR) variants, and 70 aircraft were ordered, provisionally designated PR Mk VIII. Based on the revised MK VIII airframe these aircraft were to be powered by Merlin. A policy change resulted in the pressurised PR variant of the Mk VII being renamed PR Mk X. This followed the PR Mk XI into production and was based on the Mk VII airframe with PR Mk XI wings and cameras. It had the pressurised Mk VII cockpit, the Lobelle sliding canopy, and retained the fighter style windscreen with the bullet-proof glass panel. A long thin air intake to the cockpit pressurisation system was fitted under the exhaust stacks on the starboard cowling. The performance was similar to that of the PR XI although the pressurised cockpit meant that this version could stay at altitudes of over 40,000 ft for longer without affecting the pilot. Sixteen Mk Xs were built during 1944. All saw limited service in 541 Squadron and 542 Squadron for high altitude reconnaissance. Experience with this version led to the development and production of the pressurised version of the PR Mk XIX The Kit This is a new tool 2022 boxing in KP's line of Spitfire kits. As is usual, they have produced a number of boxings that vary in decals and parts , giving the modeller plenty of choice which one(s) to get. The kit arrives in a small end-opening box, and inside are two sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, decal sheet and A5 instruction booklet, with the decal options printed in colour on the back of the box. Detail is excellent for the scale. Construction begins with the cockpit, the front bulkhead gets its instrument panel, with the instruments being provided as decals. The seat back and head armour attaches to the rear bulkhead and this is fitted to the floor members. The control column is added followed by the seat. Belts are supplied as decals. At the front of each fuselage half blanking plates go in for the exhausts and then the cockpit can go in the and halves can be closed up. Moving onto the wings the left and right uppers can be added to the single part lower wing making sure the small parts for the wheels wells go in first. The radiators go on. The wing can now be fitted to the fuselage and at the rear the tail surfaces and rudder are fitted, along with the tail wheel. The main gear can be built up and added along with the chin intake and prop. On top the canopy and aerial mast is added. At the front the prop is fitted. Markings There are three decal options in the box to represent 541 Squadron and 542 Squadron aircraft. Decals are printed in-house and have good registration, colour density and sharpness, with a very thin carrier film cut close to the printing. Conclusion Another great release from KP with excellent detail, and plenty of choices. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. F-6D/K Mustang (82103) 1:48 Eduard ProfiPACK The P-51D was developed by the North American Aviation company as a fighter for Great Britain, but due to the poor performance of the engine initially fitted, it wasn’t all that good. Fortuitously they slotted a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine into the airframe and it brought out the best of its design, which included the energy efficient laminar flow wing that gave it the potential to escort Allied bombers all the way to Berlin with the addition of drop-tanks and a lean mixture when not in combat. It was flown in this guise as the Mustang III in British service, and as the P-51B/C in US service, then as the P-51D with the bubble canopy and cut-down aft fuselage, with an additional fin-fillet added later to improve stability that had been reduced by the new shape and fuel tank location. The same "D" variant that was made at the Dallas factory with hollow AeroProducts props was designated P-51K to differentiate, and when they repurposed a number for photo-recon purposes they kept the identifications after changing the name to F-6, so there were F-6Ds and F-6Ks in about equal numbers. There were two cameras mounted in the fuselage, with one camera mounted obliquely in the side of the rear fuselage, firing to the left, with the other was mounted underneath, just aft of the radiator flap. Apart from some other minor changes the aircraft was fully combat capable, so didn’t need an escort to carry out its assigned task, and some of its pilots became Aces flying recon. The Kit We were treated to the initial release in ProfiPACK form of this new tooling and it’s now almost everyone’s favourite Mustang in 1:48, with a number of variants with filleted and unfilleted tails to differentiate them. This new boxing has some different sprues, most notably in the fuselage department to accommodate the camera openings. In total there are six sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass with nickel-plating and much of it pre-printed both in colour and with clear, domed and glossy instrument faces, a set of canopy masks (not pictured), large decal sheet and instruction booklet with the markings options printed in the rear in colour. The prop blades above fell off the sprue during transit. Construction begins with the cockpit, beginning with the seat that is built up first with PE belts, then the cockpit floor, tanks and radio gear are added in, with sidewall framework dotted with PE parts on both sides. It shapes up to be an extremely well-detailed cockpit, and the PE parts are numerous and impressive. The tail-wheel bay is made up, the radiator pathway and a spinner backing-plate are all slipped into the fuselage along with a PE grille and exhaust backing panel before they are closed up. There are some minor changes required around the fuselage, beginning with an antenna hole that needs opening up, a small intake to be removed from the lower port engine cowling, and if you are doing decal option B, a small upstand and lens hole under the camera aperture will need removing and filling respectively. The wheel bays are built up next with some advice regarding colour added along the way, splitting the bay down the middle and bracketing it front and back with bay walls that have a healthy number of partial ribs added once in place. This assembly is fitted to the full-width lower wing and joined by backing panels to the spent brass chutes, a central insert that shows through the bay, and a clear part for the three identification lights, plus a couple of holes will need opening up for drop tanks if you’re using them. The wing tops go on and the ailerons fit into tabs in their recesses, with some room for offsetting if you wish, then the leading edge receives inserts for the guns. There is also a small oval inspection panel on the starboard that will need filling, a square hole in the leading edge of the wing needs opening for some decal options, and some panel line surgery will be required under the nose for other decal options, a PE template being provided to assist with this. The wings are mated to the fuselage, and tiny clear wingtip lights are slotted in on long stalks, then the tail fins are begun. The filleted fin is a separate insert and the elevator fins with their flying surfaces are inserted into slots horizontally, while the rudder can be fitted at any suitable angle. You may have noticed the lack of comments about the instrument panel during building of the cockpit, but we’re getting to it now. The finished coaming and rudder pedals drop into the fuselage, but are first decked out with a multi-layered instrument panel made from pre-painted PE. The camera lenses are inserted into their positions, and a small deck at the rear of the cockpit is installed, then the model is flipped and two radiator doors under the tail are fitted at the same time as the tail strut with separate wheel, with bay doors and closure mechanism added along the way. Inside the main bay a pop-up landing light is slotted into its mounting point, a PE divider is added to the radiator intake lip, and chin-scoop plus the correct panel under the nose (yes, decal choices again), then you must remove some tiny raised bumps forward of the flaps, then it’s on to the main gear legs. The two-part diamond treaded tyres have the hub caps added before they’re fitted to the struts, which have separate styrene scissor-links and door attachments slotted into place. The flaps are each made up from two styrene parts with a tiny piece of PE added to the inner end of each one and a coat of silver paint on the curved leading edge before installation. Those are all slotted in place on the underside along with the rest of the bay doors and some antennae, and at that point you can put her down on her wheels. The prop is made from two paired blades that fit perpendicular to each other in a choice of two types of spinner, with a couple of parts options for the different decal options, and even a choice of three canopies depending on your decal choices. The canopy has a couple of interior parts added before it is fitted, then the windscreen and PE backup-sight on the coaming, a choice of tubular exhausts or the more prominent angled style. There’s also another optional aerial on the spine for one of the decal choices and a d/f loop for three others, plus an optional PE aerial with base and the traditional mast behind the canopy. The final building decision is whether to fit drop tanks, and if so which type? There are two pairs of tank types that fit either fit flush to the shallow pylon, or with one of two types of flat supports either side of the pylon, hiding some nice anti-sway braces that are glued into the pylons earlier. Markings By now you should have your decal choices long decided upon. You have six choices, and they’re all based on a bare metal airframe with silver lacquered wings. From the box you can build one of the following: F-6D-15, 44-14874, flown by Lt. John E. Jacoby, 82nd TRS, 71st TRG, 5th AF, Johnson Field, Japan, September 1945 F-6D-10, 44-14699, flown by Lt. Clifford S. Slonneger, 109th TRS, 67th TRG, 9th AF, Gosselies, Belgium, 1945 F-6K-10, 44-12223, 118th TRS, 23rd FG, 14th AF, Chengkung, China, 1945 F-6K-15, 75th FS, 23rd FG, 14th AF, Luliang Airfield, China, 1945 F-6D-15, 44-15417, flown by Lt. Edwin H. Pearle, 2nd FS, 2nd ACG, Cox ́s Bazar, India, Spring 1945 F-6D-10, 44-14659, 111th TRS, 68th TRG, 12th AF, Fürth, Germany, July 1945 Decals are printed in-house with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils and locations where silver lacquer is used are dealt with over a couple of pages in the instructions to prevent clutter and replication of effort, which is fair enough. Conclusion We already know the quality of the basic kit, and this box continues that theme with PE, masks and a nice decal sheet adding to the package. You just have to choose your decal choice at outset to prevent any mis-steps. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Here Goes. I know out there will be someone with the appropriate knowledge in respect of the Valiant B(PR)K1. I am aiming to do WZ397 as depicted in the following picture (taken in September 1964) which clearly shows a side oblique camera. My question is have Airfix missed this out of their additional kit? In the kit there are 9 appertures that are offset from the centre line and a further on on the centre line at the rear of the bomb bay - but nothing on the side. This leads on to the next question does anyone know the dimensions of the port and would the cameras and optically flat windows no have a sliding cover, so no debris interfered with the photography?
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